homebirth?

Jessie - posted on 06/03/2010 ( 67 moms have responded )

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I am thinking about doing a home birth as there are no birthing centers where I am at now, and I do not like hospitals nor OB/GYNs I prefer midwives. what is everyone's take on home births and then of course the alternative hospital way

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Lynne - posted on 06/07/2010

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Hi Jesse, Again it's all about the research for me, and please allow me to inform you, if you didn't know this from previous posts that I am a midwife. So, of course I have very strong opinions here. There is absolutely no medical evidence showing that home-birth is more dangerous. Most of the things that "go wrong" in child birth are actually caused by the protocol the hospital must follow for insurance purposes. When a woman labors naturally she tolerates the labor pains better, she can move about and she can progress as slowly or as quickly as what is natural for her body. Pitocin, episiotomy, EFM's, Betadine, IV's and ice chips is NOT natural child birth. Please educate yourself first. This way no matter what you choose you will be happy with your decision. I have helped woman with everything from going in to the hospital before labor begins to insure they not remember anything and wake up feeling great with a baby in their arms to "Birth Plans" in hospital to delivering in the ocean of southern California. It is always RIGHT if you know what you want, what to expect and what the boundaries of natural birth are. There are only 2 things that can go wrong at the end; cord prolapse and placenta previa, in both cases with a trained professional you have adequate time to get yourself to the hospital and preform the life saving surgery of Cesarean Section. When you hear of things going wrong in the hospital it is typically because the mom has been laboring in a bed semi seated not walking, with Pitocin, which changes everything about labor and increases risk to the baby as well as epidural anesthesia which increases risk as well. Then the babies heart rate drops and everyone rushes in to "save" the baby when medical science clearly shows that those things I just spoke of created the situation in the first place... I am not sure I am allowed to do this, and NO I am not looking for business as I retired from midwifery last year, however feel free to read my own birth experience: www.LynnesHealth.com, which caused me to become a midwife in the first place. 10 years after the birth of my first born, after learning everything I could, becoming a midwife, etc. I had my first VBAC baby! She was a full pound bigger than my first C-Section baby that was "too big" to deliver vaginally...Hope this helps. I can recommend some great books for you too if you would like.

Rachel - posted on 06/05/2010

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Hi Jessie!

I am almost 40 weeks along in my second pregnancy and am planning a home water birth. My first delivery was in a hospital. If I could go back, I would definitely have had a home birth instead of a hospital birth with my first child.

I have to say that my experience with a home birth midwife has been far and away the better experience. She checks more things (the OB checks only protein and sugar levels at each visit; midwife checks about 10 things, all through the same urine sample), takes more time (30-60 minute appointments), covers greater ground, and actually develops a relationship with her clients. I really like the level of care I am receiving. It has made me trust her and her judgment much, much more than I ever trusted my OB. This is probably because I feel like my midwife knows me personally, understands my body better and my situation, so I feel like she is better able to make a judgment call than my OB was.

Also, it is nice knowing that my midwife isn't going to suggest an intervention unless she really thinks I need it. And, depending on the circumstances, she will try a natural (homeopathic) option before a more medicinal option (even though she originally started her career as a L&D nurse, so she has all the training of an RN).

There are a lot of reasons that more and more women are choosing to give birth at home. For me, I like the lower infection rate of being at home, the fact that I can eat during labor (as desired), I can rest, listen to whatever music I want, light candles if I want, sleep in my own bed, have a water birth, and have the same person with me during my entire labor (instead of nurses changing shift every so many hours and never knowing whether the newest nurse is going to be friendly or not and/or supportive or not - my midwife will give consistent and excellent care the entire labor).

I did not care for my hospital stay with my first delivery, even though I was at a great hospital with a highly rated maternity ward. We did not get the support we needed for breastfeeding, my son was given his first shot AND circumcised within the first 12 hours of his birth (turns out they should have waited at LEAST 24 hours, better to wait 48) which made him really groggy and unresponsive, one of the nurses gave him formula in a bottle without our consent which further complicated breastfeeding (I had explicitly told them NO formula and especially NO bottles), they kept my baby for something like 6-7 hours so the pediatrician could check him out - and wouldn't let me have our son during that time so that it wouldn't inconvenience the doctor (!!! going back, I would have been more forceful for my right to have my child and I also now know that the doctor is perfectly able to do the baby's examination in the hospital room with me). My birth experience was also very frustrating, primarily due to the fact that my OB convinced me that I couldn't possibly have a baby larger than 9 lbs without a c-section (which is completely wrong given my build - I should be able to handle up to an 11 lb baby just fine) and scared me into inducing just 2 days after my due date. I would NEVER choose to do that again!

Also, regarding cost - even if my insurance DOESN'T cover my home birth (which it may, I'm working on negotiating that and my midwife has had good success getting insurance to cover her), it will still cost LESS than my hospital birth did. I had to pay nearly $3,800 out of pocket for my first birth (due to how the hospital billed my insurance, I had to pay a deductible for myself AND my baby @ $2,000 per deductible). This birth will cost me a TOTAL of $1800, including the birth pool rental, first baby exam, and my 6 week postpartum checkup, in addition to the birth itself. So, it is a serious cost savings for me - though my decision for home birth was not motivated by cost.

Anyway, there is a LOT of great information out there on home birth, the safety of home birth (with a qualified attendant), and how to go about it. Below are a few of my favorite sites:
http://www.mymidwife.org/momstobe.cfm
http://www.gentlebirth.org/format/myths....
http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/h...
http://bringbirthhome.com/
http://mothering.com/pregnancy-birth
http://www.mybestbirth.com/

Best wishes for your pregnancy!

Rachel

Allison - posted on 06/03/2010

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I had a wonderful home-birth with a licensed midwife, with my super healthy (WAY overdue) 9 lb. 7 oz. baby boy. Studies show that it IS in fact safe, and after researching I felt it was safer than hospital birth (with an OB) for me and my baby. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who isn't "high risk". I also had an OB for the first 7 months, and all the standard tests (although I don't feel all of them are necessary). I chose to give birth at home b/c statistics show that assisted home-birth with an experienced midwife results in the same outcomes as in a hospital (same % of healthy moms and babies), but with fewer interventions and intervention-related complications. The largest study to date is posted here:

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/330/...



I have lots other reasons, too - but if you do lots of research I am sure you can find the best and safest birth-place for you! The other ladies had great suggestions. Midwives are usually great about a free consultation meeting - we met 4 before we chose ours.



There are many risks in giving birth, and I was more comfortable with those of home than a hospital (including extremeley high induction and c-section rates, and higher risk of infections for mom or baby). Don't know where you are, but sadly, the US has one of the highest birth mortality rates in the world among developed countries, and it *seems* to me that many of the interventions and practices of the hospital are partially responsible. I think that hospital infection/intervention/death rates are not always well publicized, but you can find them for your local hospital if you look.



With the peaceful, calm supportive environment of home, and freedom to move around, I didn't ever need pain relief. But 2 of my friends did after 24+ hours of labor, and transferred to the hospital for that with no problems.



I did have a severe post-partum hemmorhage, and went to the hospital immediately post-partum and again 2 weeks later. I am grateful for the Doctor's expertise, but was very frustrated by the quality of the hospital care compared to my midwife's care :( Also, I got a bad infection in my arm from a careless nurse touching my IV lock without washing her hands (yuck!). There was no continuity of care, as every nurse and doctor had a different opinion about how to do things (if I ever got to talk to them at all). And there were SO many different people in and out. Anyway, there are also hospital midwives in many places now, so that could also be an option if you want to be in/near a hospital. Midwives do carry (and are trained to use) many modern medical tools, such as oxygen, anti-hemmorhage drugs, etc. In my case, I needed surgical intervention and much stronger drugs to stop the bleeding, but that is extremely rare. I might have a nurse midwife at a hospital next time because of my severe hemmorhage risk, but only if I can find one that facilitates the natural birth process and only uses interventions when medically necessary :)



Here are some other very scientifically sound websites on birth:

http://www.childbirthconnection.org/arti...

http://www.birthingnaturally.net/



Good luck with your decision!

Diane - posted on 06/03/2010

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I wouldn't do a home birth and I hate hospitals too but what if somthing happens to the baby? i would want to be at the hospital incase my baby needed medical attention. Home birthing does not sound safe to me but it's your call.

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Juana - posted on 06/08/2010

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i think you should a home birth it has so many advantages to it for example you will always have your baby right there with you from the moment he or she enters this world and you will be in a comfortable environment that you are familiar with and you will be able to walk around and try to relax yourself without any potentially harmful drugs and if for any reason there were to be something wrong with you or the baby there is absolutely nothing a midwife has never seen before and isnt prepared for they know what they are doing and being a midwife is an old age and trusted method for birthing so i would go with a home birth i myself was at a birthing center with a midwife and i loved it if i could i wouldve had a home birth but my experience was as close to a home birth as i could get i recommend you watch The business of being born its a great movie

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Home birthing is the BEST!! I have had 4 children ages 1, 3, 5, and 7 at home. The first time giving birth is always the hardest. Alot to do with we just really don't know what exactly it's going to be like. Midwives are GREAT!!! It is totally safe. Midwives watch you carefully and keep an eye on everything. If there are problems or complications they will ask you to go to a doctor. They know you better than a doctor. Midwives are really good and they know lots of good tricks to help you out with. My sister-in-law had 2 in the hospital and had to have C-sections on both they told her she could not deliver naturally and that she was extremely small down there. Her 3rd she had a midwife at home and gave birth to an 11 lb girl NATURALLY. Thus she also had her 4th one at home and loved the at home experience. I know lots of people that do homebirths. You would be surprised at how many people do. Good luck!

Jessie - posted on 06/08/2010

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thanx ladies all your stories of home births are really inspiring I can't wait until my consultation, like I said before my husband and of course the insurance or whether we have to pay out of pocket is going to be the big issue. I do find it strange that there is such an issue w/ insurance coverage for midwives/home births when it is so favored among women and most times safer then the hospital. I have arrange for my baby to be w/ my sister for a day or two and my older one to be with her for a day when I have the baby. I must say I am probably more excited about this birth then I was about the other two, I am really hoping we can get a home birth

Polly - posted on 06/08/2010

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I stopped reading the replies when the first person said for you not to have a homebirth. How arrogant for someone to give you a reply on something they know nothing about!
I will tell you that I had 3 WONDERFUL, TERRIFIC, LOVING, HAPPY, HEALTHY and JOYFUL homebirths. My midwife was caring, professional, friendly, and most of all knowledgeable about the birthing process.
While home birth is not for everyone. I highly suggest you look into it if you are in the least interested. From my point of view, there are no risks as you can hop in an ambulance or the car to get you to a hospital if there are problems/complications.

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p.s. HOME BIRTH Is worth the $$$$. Midwives are suuuuper inexpensive compared to hospital costs (often even with insurance) and insurance still has to cover any unforeseen needs or circumstances. Plus, you can get all your lab work done through your insurance and get the midwife for less expensive probably. I am on medi-cal which is state insurance for low income (that's a lot of us in San Francisco) so I pay out of pocket for midwife ($3000 total and this is one of the most expensive places for home births plus we bartered a little - my husband did a few hours of handiwork at her house and we did one babysitting gig for her!). Midwives have the freedom to barter and the freedom to do sliding scale. Believe me, in a few years, you will NOT regret spending money on it! And, the midwife goes with you to continue as your advocate if anything should arise that preempts your ability to give birth at home. All these people talking about preeclampsia - no midwife will deliver a baby at home if this arises - they know what they are doing and how to diagnose problems like that making home birth a bad idea. But they will stay with you all the way. I had to do a rule-out of preeclampsia after a couple isolated high blood pressures and my midwife made the appointment for me, that day, and stayed the entire 5 hours for testing and everything to ensure that I checked out. Turns out, it was just dealing with my mother in law the day before that raised my blood pressure :-D.
Plus, I want to ECHO what someone else said..... so important to include the whole family in something like this. My 20 month old listens to the baby's heart beat and sings songs to the baby at my appointments and our midwife comes to our house... she brings us special little gifts and lets my daughter measure me and herself and keeps track of her stats too so she gets weighed and she gets to play with my belly and we tell her, there's a foot and a leg and the head. She is so ecstatic and talks everyday about having a baby brother or sister and tells me that baby is going to cry because i need to change his diaper or give him milk (she is also still occasionally breastfeeding). She talks all about the baby's heart beat and being a big sister and how much she is going to share and teach the baby. You go in most hospitals and there are signs everywhere asking you not to bring your children. BLAH!

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Well...I've done 4 home births and I can't imagine packing up and going to the hospital in labor!! :) Midwives are so knowledgeable and PERSONAL. I loved my experience. I hemorrhaged severely with two of my births and my midwife took excellent care of me. I understand fears about "what if something happened to the baby"...but if you read, you'll find that home births are extremely safe as long as the pregnancy has progressed well and the baby is healthy. So many studies have been done and the statistics are amazing. The biggest thing about birth is not to approach your choice based on fear. Approach it with knowledge and confidence. Congrats!!

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giiiiirl. home birth is AMAZING! i don't even really hate hospitals or ob/gyn's but giving birth at home is the epitome of feminism and what whomever you think created us intended. It is beautiful and invigorating! you have everything you want and need right at your disposal.... candles, your own bathroom/shower/bath..... your own food and drink.... your own surroundings making you more comfortable and serene for bringing a precious baby into the world. It is absolutely amazing. Midwives are trained in prenatal care/L&D/postnatal care for normal pregnancies better than OB/GYN actually. The curriculum is rigorous and many of them are also registered nurses. They know what they are doing and exactly what to look for by way of red flags that could put you or baby at risk. The US has more unnecessary intervention in pregnancy/childbirth than any other country in the world AND we are currently #20 in infant mortality and slipping. EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY AHEAD OF US is primarily midwife driven and almost every one of them is primarily home birth driven. Where I live in the US (San Francisco) it is normal to do home births and there is a plethora of wonderful midwives so it seems so natural to me to just do it if you want to. THE ONLY preclusion to home birth is not wanting to do it. Your midwife will carefully care for you along the way and decide if there is any reason not to give birth at home. She/he knows what she/he is doing! GO FOR IT! DON'T LET THIS DESIRE PASS! It is the experience of a lifetime and you will NOT regret it!!! There are some great books to use along the way too that you can journal through and be prepared! I also recommend inviting a naturopath into the picture because there are so many resources and remedies available to make it that much better! I've done it twice and plan to do it a few more times.

Donna - posted on 06/08/2010

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you know its funny that us women have such stong positive feelings for home childbirth, and yet the availability of insurance, midwifes, etc. is so limited. My midwife had been taken to court in Iowa for practicing without a license in the past, after she officially received her nursing degree to practice legally....very funny how opposed people are to it and still the data says it is safer. I would love for midwifery in the home to replace the OBGYN experience in the hospital- they really aren't trained to 'catch' babies but rather how to intervene in emergencies. It was truly amazing how my midwife could determine position of the baby, how much it weighed- all from just feeling my stomach! After such a great experience I just couldn't believe how us women are duped to thinking we can't handle it at home, and how dangerous it is at home. Leave the hospital for high risk births. I think every woman deserves such a wonderful empowering, bonding experience of a homebirth! I think the hard part was convincing my husband to try it, but after he met the midwife, and figured if he didn't jump aboard he would be delivering it himself...he was totally supportive...:) and FYI afterwards he told me he had never seen such an athletic feat, and wondered why it took us so long to figure out it was so much better at home! lol

Laura - posted on 06/07/2010

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I think it's a great idea...I would have gone that route as well, but I developed severe pre-ecclampsia with my first and had to be induced 3 1/2 weeks early just to make sure I didn't have a seizure, and with my second, I went into pre-term labor every single weekend starting at 6 1/2 months (he ended up coming 4 weeks early) and considering the complications(or potential complications...labor and delivery ended up being perfectly normal with a very healthy baby) I figured it was safer to stick to the hospital. But, home birth would have been so much more pleasant. and just keep in mind, historically speaking, only VERY recently have women started going to the hospital to give birth. True, there are certain risks but with a good midwife supervising the birth (who can get you to a hospital if something's not right) you will be fine. If my insurance would have covered the midwife, i would have SOOOOO snatched one up as soon as the test strip showed 2 lines lol.

Cathie - posted on 06/07/2010

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You need to consider some other things that aren't mentioned here (as well as the other things, which I won't bother repeating again). What does your husband think? You need him to be happy and comfortable with your decision, as you need his support. What will you do with your other kids? Do you want them there? Do you have someone to mind them?

I agree with the option of having a midwife at the hospital - we have a birthing centre in Canberra, where you get a room set up like home, with just a midwife, but it is attached to the hospital so you are there if anything goes wrong. This is a great alternative. I had two high risk pregnancies so didn't have a choice and had to give birth at the hospital. My first (and I) would have died if we hadn't. My 2nd I had a 34 hour labour with no pain relief, and a fantastic OB who didn't interfere at all and let me have my VBAC, but ensured my baby and I were safe the whole time.

Goodluck!

Jessie - posted on 06/07/2010

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wow this is a bigger topic then I thought it would, it kinda blew up in the day and a half I wasn't able to get on here LOL. to the question/comment about doing a hospital birth w/ a mid wife that is not exactly possible where I am at, there is one hospital here that offers that but by the time I got there w/ my past in labor and delivery the baby will end being delivered by daddy. I never had any issue w/ the pain usually I hit my "breaking point" when its time for baby to come out. there is a hospital right down the road so if anything did go wrong we should be there relatively shortly. my big issue is if my insurance would cover it, as it does not specify a "hospital" birth just say I am covered for labor and delivery and all the prenatal stuff.

I want to thank everyone for there support and also for keeping it such a peaceful topic =D I am still working on my hubby though he is being very understanding and supportive also we have a consultation scheduled next week w/ a midwife for a home birth I am very excited to have gotten that far!!!

Cinda - posted on 06/07/2010

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i personally would make sure that there aren't any complications first and then since u have had preatty easy labors in the past i don't see that there's anything wrong with it. for me i would rather have medically trained professionals in a hospital but that's just because i had extreamly difficult pregnancies and births. but i would do research and always have a plan b and c as back up.

Linda - posted on 06/07/2010

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Does is have to be one way or the other? Could you have a midwife in a hospital? I had 4 boys (no pain medication for any of them.) I had a doctor for my first two, but a midwife for my last two. The midwife was so much better! I loved it! However, I still delivered in a hospital. If this is an option, your husband would feel better and you could get the care you wanted. Personally, I wouldn't want the mess of delivering at home anyway! Also, even though my first two deliveries were uncomplicated, I did hemorrage with my third child. However, the midwife was able to deal with it and stop it and no doctor was needed. I can see your husband's point, however. See if you can find a midwife who delivers at a local hospital!

Donna - posted on 06/07/2010

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Oh! what might help you prepare mentally for a homebirth is hypnobirthing....basically the idea like mentioned above that birthing is mind over matter (which I believe), and gives you mental relaxation tools to use before, during birthing process to calm you and relax you. The cervix is a sphincter, like the anus, so constricts when you are scared- to enable you to escape predators (if you were in the wild). But our bodies haven't changed, thus the idea that a modern hospital is not conducive to our birthing needs....have you ever watched a cat give birth? they find a comfortable, dark, space alone to have babies...what makes us think that an unfamiliar, strange, and brightly lit place like the hospital could make for an easy birth? Our minds have control over our births....for example, I visualized the exact date, time, and activities of my birth. It happened on a friday, 3 weeks early as I planned, was over before my bedtime. I wanted all this because I didn't have family around, and my body did it! Its not really so strange. Most women around the world don't view birth as a painful event, but rather an exhausting one....
think about your bodily functions (sorry to sound so gross), but if you tried to poop and force it out while you weren't ready, it would hurt...same for hospitals..they 'check your cervix' about every hour....its not wonder women tense up, they don't dilate for a long time, doctor prescribes pitocin to 'speed things up' this makes the labor intensify to the point you can't handle the pain...so next an epidural...then you can't move, so the labor is harder...i.e. the cone head babies that result from trying to push a baby through a constricted vagina....no wonder some get stuck, emergency c-section....list goes on....and also did you know that the induced labors cause stress to the babies? I learned this from my first labor, the extra hard contractions that are so close together are harder on the baby...it brought my baby to respiratory distress...oh I could go on and on....I recommend this book that talks about the history of childbirth in the U.S. and compares to the past before the hospital movement....and guides u thru the basics and mentality of childbirth...even if you end up in hospital it will help you! http://www.hypnobirthing.com/

Tchertut - posted on 06/07/2010

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I had all 3 of my children at home with a Midwife and would never consider a hospital birth unless I was truly "high risk". My sister had her babies at home as well, and my girlfriend just had her 3 baby at home, she choose to have a water birth. She rented a birthing pool, the experience was truly beautiful. If I got pregnant again (I doubt), I would have a water home birth.

Autumn - posted on 06/07/2010

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I had my son at home and can not imagine ever having a child in a hospital. I would say the best part was after the midwives left and the stillness. My husband and I just laid with him and watched him breath. There was no noise and we were calm because we had no where to be.

[deleted account]

I firmly believe that a lot of labor is mind-over-matter, and if you're uncomfortable or anxious it's gonna hurt more and last longer. So a homebirth could be a great option for you! But if it's your first, who knows how it's gonna go... Do you live near a hospital just in case? The only person I know who attempted a homebirth, the baby got stuck and they rushed her to the hospital for an emergency C-section. Not trying to scare you, but it happens. Also, common and minor things can disqualify you for homebirth. I had very normal pregnancies but because I had group b strep I couldn't deliver at home - needed an IV. I was very comfortable delivering two of my 3 in the hospital because my midwife was great and supportive and calming. My kid born with a regular doctor, HORRIBLE experience, because he's used to very medical high-risk births, c-sections and epidurals. I went natural, even though I was induced cuz my daughter was late - so he didn't know how to handle me well and it was a rough time. So I understand where you're coming from! If you have to deliver at a hospital, have a birth plan so they know your preferences, but be willing to be flexible. And it makes a world of difference if your husband/partner/birth coach can advocate on your behalf and stick up for you, grab a nurse if you're freaking out, etc. Have some people with you that you trust (women need women, too) and that would help immensely to make you feel safe and supported. What's most important is the health of you and your baby, and truth is a hospital has a posse of folks and loads of machinery and meds to help ensure you both come out okay in the end. Whatever your choice, good luck and congrats on your future motherhood!!

Donna - posted on 06/06/2010

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first birth was hospital, second homebirth. By far I wouldn't ever go to a hospital again. The homebirth was wonderful, and to tell the truth not as painful as the hospital. I like to compare that if you can't poop in front of a group of strange people, then birthing in front of them will cause your body to tense up and lead to all kinds of interventions...i.e. epidural, pitocin, etc.
I like the idea of getting a midwife, then you make alternative plans for hospital if emergency arrives. a certified midwife is a nurse, which is what you get in the hospital anyways!

Sheila - posted on 06/06/2010

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I had my 1st child in a hospital, and my 2nd/3rd at home. I did not enjoy having my son at the hospital, labour, epidural did not work correctly, other patients were noisy. The next 2 were birthed at home.Midwife appointments were an hour, you could bring your child with you, the midwife would have your child help measure your tummy,your children were included in the new baby process which I think helped with them not being jealous. All tests were fully explained (not like with a doctor), urine tests, swabbing you did your self, no internal exams (they do not want to break your water), they do internals when you are in hard labour to see how far you have dialated. In Ontario licensed midwifes can only do safe births-they do not do twins. When you are in labour they check your heart rate and pulse constantly, any problems and you are brought to a hospital; a few weeks prior to due date they do a blood test for iron deficency, if your count is low they put you on suppliments (floridix is really good), and check baby is in correct position (they cannot deliver breach babies (now you can have an ultrasound, and if the breach is correctable, they will correct the position so you can home birth (my 2nd baby was found to be breach, but, after several versions-(turning the baby), she stayed in position and we home birthed 4 days later. My 3rd baby was delivered at home when I was forty. It was nice to have my children present (they did not have to be farmed out while I was in a hospital-and my children got to hold their brother at 1 hour old-after being weighed, cleaned and whatever test they do, the midwife stayed for a few hours, and came back every day for 6 days to check on us. I cannot express how great having a home birth was and I wish I would of had my first one at home too. I have had friends say that with a midwife their child would of died as the cord was wrapped around neck, that happened with my 2nd child, but, my midwife noticed and had me stop pushing so she could unwrap the cord. I loved it.

[deleted account]

Diane, I respect your opnion and anywhere you choose to give birth, but please do not make statements about the safety of homebirth unless you have done the research - research (and lots of it) shows homebirth is absolutely as safe or SAFER than a hospital birth for low risk healthy mothers and their babies.

[deleted account]

My first and only birth was a homebirth. After much research, I was certain this is where I felt safest and most comfortable. If you have not already done so, I HIGHLY recommend Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth (particularly the 2nd half of the book).

Keep in mind, no matter how alternative, progressive, "birth friendly" a hospital is, it is still a hospital and it is an entirely different mind set, from the care providers perspective, than a homebirth. Homebirth believes birth is natural and you have the power and ability to birth beautifully and safely. Hospitals exists because, and therefore assume, that birth is dangerous and typically in need of intervention for the "safety" of mother and child.

The best place to birth if wherever YOU feel most comfortable, be it home, hospital, birth center... wherever. I HIGHLY recommend homebirth if it is an option that rings true for you. Please feel free to message me if you would like to discuss further.

Lisa - posted on 06/06/2010

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23 years ago I delivered my daughter in the same bed she was conceived in. My husband was my birthing chair and my two younger sisters cupped their hands and became stirrups for my feet. I had a certified nurse midwife from South Bay Birth Alternatives in attendance and I have never regretted it. I had a long labor and I don't think a hospital would have let me go natural for as long as I did and might have forced me to consider a "C" section - which would have been unnecessary. Keep in mind that homebirth is not a good option for anyone with a problematic pregnancy, and you should have an MD on standby (I live 9 min from Hoag Hospital and I had the ambulance on speed dial!). There are even midwives who will bring birthing pools and set them up in your home. Keep looking, you will find the right attendant for you! Congrats and good luck! Lisa

Gynae - posted on 06/06/2010

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I've had 2 home waterbirths and can tell you that I felt like Superwoman afterwards! As long as you are low-risk, meaning you have no existing health conditions, you're 35 or under, and you're at a healthy weight, then you are a prime candidate for a homebirth. I would not change my birthing experiences for the world - it was awesome. When I tell women about my experience, they think I'm crazy and always say, "I could never do that! I NEED the drugs!" It's crazy to me that women have been so programmed to think they need drugs to give birth, but it is a matter of pain tolerance. The thing that helped me the most was being completely informed about the birthing process; knowing exactly what was going on with the baby and my body while it made it's way out into the world. Of course I was in definite pain, but I knew it was temporary and necessary and that everything I was feeling was supposed to happen and my midwife would know right away if there was any reason to transfer to a hospital, which I didn't have to. Giving birth naturally is an amazing and wonderful experience and women have been doing (and are still doing) it this way for centuries. Good luck with your decision and have a great pregnancy and delivery!

Mindy - posted on 06/06/2010

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my cute neice just had a home birth about 8 mths ago or I should say she tried....instead she was in labor at home for 30 hrs. when her midwife decided she needed to go to the hospital anyway by that point the baby was in to much stress and they had to a c section and she basically felt the whole thing even thought she had an epidural because they had to hurry. The baby was ok though, but his poor Mom sure did go through hell. I would think twice on doing a home birth if I were you. That just me I've had 3 babies in the hospital and sure the nurses coming in and out all the time can be annoying but the baby gets to stay in the room with you the whole time now so there is plenty of time for good bonding and its and your only there 1 to 2 days anyway, and believe me it was the most amazingly magical moments of my life having my babies so I have a hard time believing being home would have made it much better.

Vicki - posted on 06/06/2010

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Hi! I have five children, eldest born by caesarean, second hospital normal delivery, last 3 born at home. I loved my home births. I wasnt allowed to use my local birthing centre due to my c-section, and did not want a hospital birth as i do not like hospitals. The home births were the best choice i made. It was very relaxing, which helps labour go faster and i was able to share the moments with my older children, which was amazing. Thoroughly reccommend them

Amy - posted on 06/06/2010

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I've had two hospital births, both OK, but they could have been better! I'd opt for a home birth if I did it again. Either way, do your research and make a birth plan. Whether you're 'safer' in a hospital is subjective.

Connie - posted on 06/06/2010

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I too had short labor/easy delivery/no meds with all three of my children. They are now 34,32 & 28. I chose home birth for my youngest child,he was a healthy 8lb,3oz....it was a great experience! My midwife had an office so I went to her for all of my prenatal visits. While I was in labor, we took a walk, ate breakfast....sat and visited....it was wonderful! After I gave birth, I took a shower. All of our neighbors & friends were outside bbqing waiting for the birth! I totally recommend it! My midwife did have me choose a hospital as a backup plan in case there were any complications. I didn't have any so it was great....didn't have to eat just ice chips.....hospitals carry alot of germs too....

Joan - posted on 06/06/2010

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Where I live there is the option of having a midwife at the hospital---- is that a choice there? No one likes to be in the hospital, but they are there for a reason. I had both of my boys in the hospital and am very glad i was there since either or both could have died if I had been at home ( not to mention I could have died after my second from unforeseen trouble). My first pregnancy was "high risk" at the end because I developed pre-eclampsia. The delivery went fine, although I pushed for 3 1/2 hours but he had respiratory distress at birth and had to be in the NICU for 5 hours. My second I was fine and healthy with no evident risks but the baby's heart rate kept dropping and they had to get his out fast...... fortunately I didn't have to have a c-section, but was very glad to be in the hospital if other means were necessary. After birth my blood pressure dropped to 40 and I needed help also. My husband was afraid he was going to lose both of us, and I can't imagine being at home in that situation. There are very good OBs out there that will follow your wishes. My OBs are fantastic, they told me it was my delivery and I could do it however I wanted---that they would only jump in if a life was at risk. My husband and I were left alone most of the time while I was laboring and it was a good experience. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

Donna - posted on 06/06/2010

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i say a home birth. back in the olden days the women didn't go to hospitals and they did just fine. i had both of my kids in a birthing center. I wanted to do ita at home but there aren't any midwives around here that do it at home. hospitals and OBGYNS and both out to get your money and nothing else.

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I think the main thing to consider is if any complications were to occur could you get to a hospital quickly? People are forgetting that just because you're in a hospital doesn't mean that if something happens to your baby that they will be able to save them. It doesn't work like that and midwives carry all the oxygen and equipment to help resusitate a baby if necessary. At my hospital the maximum time it's supposed to take from a doctor deciding you need an emergency c-section to ahving it is 20 minutes. Where I live I could reach the hospital in under 20 minutes so it wouldn't make any difference being at home or int he hospital. It's ultimately your choice no one elses =]

Shonda - posted on 06/06/2010

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Oh may I also add that I barely tore with my first child, he was 10 lbs even, and didn't even rip at all with my other two (8 lbs 3 oz & 9 lbs 11 oz.)...I was able to eat or drink anything healthy that I wanted, use the bathroom, and have all the people I wanted at my childrens birth...22 the first time...21 the second time, and roughly 19 the last time :) also it is all mind over matter...if you take care of yourself the way you are suppose to, and also tell yourself that you are going to have an awesome, healthy home delivery, then 9 x out of 10 you will...you have to have inner strength, courage, and FAITH!! :)

Shonda - posted on 06/06/2010

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Well, I don't know what its like to have a baby in a hospital...I have had all three of my children at home with a midwife, and loved every minute of it...I had my first child when I was 16...and after that having the rest at home was a neccessity...so much that the thought of even having to go to the hospital with the last one would make me cry for minutes on end!! I say homebirth all the way...I was once told...you aren't sick or dying, so why do you need to go to the hospital??

Jade - posted on 06/06/2010

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I myself would not do it...i loved my hospital birth...no meds just a bit of gas at the end...6 hrs and baby was out was only in full swing labour for 1 hour...i was considering it with my first but then i decided not to...i would feel safer in a hospital just incase something happened. But hey if you want to go for it!!!

Colette - posted on 06/06/2010

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I have had 8 babies. The first was a hospital birth that wasn't bad, but not as good as my other 7 births which were home births. I loved being at home! I agree with what Allison Caster said below, so I won't repeat all that she said! Good luck with your decision! For me, home births have been the best option! But you need to educate yourself and make a decision as to what you would like!

Layla - posted on 06/05/2010

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p.s Midwives do carry oxygen for mom and baby and are trained to resuscitate newborns as well as clear meconium from there lungs

Layla - posted on 06/05/2010

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I had both of my children at home and I wouldn't do it any other way. You couldn't pay me enough to give birth in a hospital! I had very experienced midwives and got the best prenatal care around. 1 hour for each appointment.
I felt very safe because I knew they knew how to handle lots of different scenarios. They carry medical equipment and are much better then OB's when it comes to dealing with healthy, normal birth which most women can accomplish when supported to do so. when you are healthy and you walk into the hospital to give birth you are setting yourself up to have all sorts of unnecessary interventions performed on you and your baby. a good midwife will respect you, your baby and the natural process of birth and keep a watchful eye on you during your pregnancy and labor in case your care needs to be transferred to more intensive, medical care. if you are with a skilled midwife, birth is as safe if not safer than the hospital. I did a ton of research when I first got pregnant. there are lots of great resources out there for you to check out. if you have netflix, get The Business of Being Born. If you can meet with your local homebirth midwives, do. almost all midwives do free consultations to answer your questions and tell you about their services. I always say, a woman will labor and birth best in the environment she feels most comfortable in. If hospitals make you feel tense and uncomfortable, you probably won't have the greatest experience.
My husband is a firefighter and used to work in the hospital, and he felt more comfortable with a homebirth too

Susannah - posted on 06/05/2010

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I think you should put the health of the baby first and foremost. I had to have an emergency caeserean after 17 hours of hellish labour. If I had not had it my baby would have died. Not something I was expecting. However my son and I left the hospital healthy and ALIVE. Good Luck.

Leslie - posted on 06/05/2010

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HI,

My son is 21 and he was my second and I decided to use midwives in a hospital setting in case there was a complication. He was born at Northwestern Prentice Women's Hospital and it was a wise decision as he became a meconium baby and due to their quick expert response, we avoided the very serious and often complicated status of meconium aspiration. It was a great experience using midwives throughout my pregnancy and I highly recommend it!

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I had my first two in the hospital and my last two at home with a certified nurse midwife( and they are now 22 and 23 years old). If I had had more they would have been born at home as well. By far the better choice if you want to have your baby your way with very minimal intervention. I then went through an apprenticeship with a nurse midwife doing homebirths and became a lay midwife myself. Anything that can go wrong during a birth is generally known long before it would become dangerous and you can get to a hospital; I've taken a couple of moms when things were going not great, and they all had perfectly safe deliveries. Naturally it is a choice. If you choose homebirth, be sure to do your homework and use an experienced, highly recommended midwife - get references and check them all. Read "Special Delivery" by Rahima Baldwin - you can find it at your public library, but I would suggest purchasing the book.

Chandra - posted on 06/05/2010

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I have had both hospital and home births and my preference is certainly for home birth. I felt a lot of pressure in my hospital birth to have medications, which very often lead to other interventions - the intervention cascade - where one leads to another. Often when people say they would have been in trouble had they been at home during their birth because they needed forceps, a c-section, baby's heartrate was dropping etc., these complications were actually caused by the medical interventions such as epidurals, laying flat on your back, etc. I realize that this is not always the case, however, often it is. Home birth with a trained midwife IS safe if you are a low risk mother. Midwives assess frequently at at any sign of a problem they will happily transfer to the hospital. If you are nervous about a home birth though, I wouldn't recommend it as a tense mother will have a more difficult time in labour - tense muscles make it more difficult for baby to come down the birth canal. Best of luck to you! I LOVED my home water birth and felt much more relaxed during and afterwards. It was so nice to not have to share a room with another mother and baby in post partum while my own mother and husband were forced to go home for the night. I had around the clock support from my family at home and had a great sleep in my own bed. My husband was able to help out in the night time with diaper changes etc. and my other two children were not left wondering where the heck mommy went to. In fact, they both were present for the birth and I believe their connection to me, and their baby brother is much stronger for it.
Good luck!!! Regardless of what you choose to do, having a baby is such a wonderful gift!

Rachel - posted on 06/05/2010

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Well, I did an unplanned home birth - I strongly recommend you go to either a birthing center or hospital. While your risk may be low, if something goes wrong with the birth, you're going to want a qualified OB within seconds of you so you can get the medical attention you need to save your or your baby's life.
If you're still insistent on a home birth, look for a qualified Midwife, and also consider a Doula to help your midwife. It will be expensive - I looked at midwives for my 2nd, and my insurance refused to pay for a midwife that wasn't in their plan - and they had NO midwives on their plan! The cost was $6,000, paid in full prior to week 36. That's what my insurance paid for my OB, so why would I go there?
Doulas aren't qualified to help with your birth alone - they are there to assist you while your Midwife does the medical assessments. Depending on your needs (this is NOT your first, right?!?), you might want to consider a professional Doula if you're not comfortable with a close friend helping you through your labor period.
Good luck!

Merry - posted on 06/05/2010

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I'm on the fence because first off, I was born at home! And my brother and my 3 cousins too! No complications with any of us. Then while pregnant with my first my husband worried about all the what Ida and I looked into a hospital birth. I found a female ob who has the mindset of a midwife. She teaches self hypnosis to manage pain, she never allows the nurses to suggest pain meds. She trained the staff that when she is the ob, they must enter the room quietly and not turn on lights or touch you until you acknowledge them so you aren't disturbed. She is trained for all parts of delivery including csection and vacuum forcepts etc. So we did it in the hospital. By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were 2 minutes apart and I was 6 cm dialatwd. I thought this was easy! Then about 16 hours later I was still at 6 cm and felt like ripping off my belly! I had been in labor 32 hours total with out sleep or food! Btw she offered me food but I felt too queasy to eat. So after 32 hrs of labor I got an epidural. I was so sure I wouldn't need one but that long was too much. I found out that Eric was facing my hip and wouldn't turn bc I was so tense. Once I slept a while he turned and was born. He had meconium in his lungs and had to be sucktioned a TON there was so much black in there. Also his cord was three times around his neck and he wasblue and limp. He needed oxygen. So I am glad HD was ok and well taken care of. But I wonder if I had been at home, maybe I would have been relaxed enough for him to turn without the meds. Maybe a midwife could have sucktioned him put and given him oxygen just as good as the hospital. And maybe o could have held him sooner then 4.5 hours after he was born! Also I HATED that the darn staff kept waking us all up like 5 times a night! I mean gosh darn it we needed sleep! so I am thinking about my best options for number two....... Goodluck and I hope your labor is as good as you dream it to be.

[deleted account]

My first son Logan is now 6 months old. I wnated to have a homebirth with him and the midwives were happy for me to do so until they found out Logan was going to be very small and my amniotic fluid level was low so I was advised to have him in hospital.

I'm definately going to opt for a homebirth with my second. If you're midwives are ok with it go for it =] You've nothing to lose. If you need to be transferred to hospital that will happen and studies have shown that a homebirth for a healthy woman in a low-risk pregnancy is no more risky than a hospital birth.

Susan - posted on 06/05/2010

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My fifth child was an easy delivery--nothing I wasn't expecting--until he was born and I heard the doctor saying, "Come on baby, breathe!" His first APGAR score was a 4. Without *immediate* medical intervention, he would have died. None of my previous deliveries had given me any reason to suspect that things could go wrong so badly and so quickly. Home births are undoubtedly nicer, but hospital births are safer. It's all a matter of what's most important to you.

Nikki - posted on 06/05/2010

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I guess I am going to go against the majority here. I would never recommend a mid wife. I have had two cousins that used them and both of them almost died during delivery. I have almost 30 cousins all of which have had children with no complications except the two that chose to use midwives. Go to a hospital where they are more prepared for the worst. I am not saying that you will have complications but every delivery is different. You always have to prepare for the worst and expect the best. A home delivery with a mid wife is not preparing for the worst.

S - posted on 06/04/2010

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Interesting question, one I debated over while I was pregnant. I HATE hospitals and only go when absolutely necessary. Surprisingly while I was prengant I became aware of homebirthing and there were a lot of shows about it on t.v. One of the doctors in my practice didn't help when I asked to go over my birth plan. He pretty much told me that it didn't matter what I wanted to do, they would do whatever they felt was necessary regardless of what I wanted. THAT was a huge put off.



I do not agree with unneccessary intervention and all the meds. Let me say first that if it is REQUIRED to save a life, i'm all for it, or even if the mother willingly chooses it then it's all good. Personally I feel that it's an unending cycle. It starts with the pitocin then it seems you go on the clock and the doctors start rushing you which ends up in a stressed out mom and a c-section. So I made the decision that I would stay at home until I was about 5 minutes apart, and then I would go to the hospital.



Well.......... i went into premature labor, didn't know it and indirectly followed my own birth plan. My contractions were about a minute apart when I got to the hospital. Other than my daughter needing to go into the NICU, I didn't need a doctor for anything. I labored on my own, didn't need meds, was not stressed and delivered after 3 pushes.



So.....all that to say that i will consider a homebirth for my next pregnancy with the assistance of a doula or midwife ALTHOUGH only if we live very close to a hospital in case of emergency.

Minnie - posted on 06/04/2010

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Had a home waterbirth with my second. We had a midwife present, but she did nothing. I labored in the pool, with only my husband present in the room, and pushed her out and lifted her to my chest myself. Then I let her latch herself on and nurse.

No one touched my baby for three hours after the birth but myself and my husband.

I loved this birth experience more than words can say- it was comfortable, intimate, relaxing and so so special- just the way a birth should be.

I had a hospital birth with my first. Cold, stranger-filled room, felt like someone else was birthing my daughter, strapped to the bed with monitors, an IV in my arm after two veins blown and a catheter on my back. Pushed with my rear on display in the air, stupid OB only showed up to 'catch' her. Dumped on my belly and then whisked away for measuring. Pathetic. I hate hospitals. No place for a normal bodily process that is best kept intimate.

[deleted account]

with my first, i had a short, easy labour in the hospital. i had been seeing my OB, but she was on holidays when i went into labour (she was almost 2 weeks early, born 6 lbs 2 oz at 38 weeks) so another doctor from her practice came and delivered. i didnt have time for the epidural, even though i asked for it, i was only at the hospital for about 45 minutes, including getting checked in and then sent upstairs. so, since i had a really easy birth with no complications, when i got pregnant again i opted for a midwife instead. im not doing a home birth as im living in an apartment, and i dont want to be cramped in here, but im doing a water birth at the local hospital in my town, where they dont even have access to epidurals, and theres no OB on staff. so itll be like a home birth, but if anything were to go wrong, i would be taken to the nearest hospital in the city, which is only about 25 minutes away. and i'll be discharged about 4 hours or so after i give birth, instead of the 2 days i was in the hospital with my daughter.

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